Soldier

Brain surgery. It’s really happening. With my pre-pre-op appointment I had this Thursday, everything is being set in motion. In just nine days, my parents and I will be departing for Los Angeles, and in thirteen days, I’ll be getting a dime-sized hole cut into my brain. Pretty gnarly, right?

While technically not fully approved for surgery yet, yesterday during my doctor’s appointment with my normal physician everything went as best as could be expected. To prepare for surgery I have to get an EKG, chest x-ray, three tubes of blood drawn, and another test that I am still waiting for approval. For all you regular folks out there who thankfully are spared from knowing all these medical terms, I’ll help fill you in.

An EKG is commonly known as an electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph, which is used to study and record the electrical activity of the heart. To perform this test, they basically put a bunch of sticky things in various places on your body, even including your ankles, then hook those stickers up to wires and monitor your heart. The way I am describing it may sound a bit complicated, but I can tell you firsthand it’s a simple test that only takes a totality of about five minutes, and also conveniently provides immediate results. Thankfully, my heart is in perfect shape so we got the go ahead from at least that standpoint.

After the nurse completed this test and we discussed more specifics of the surgery as well as possible side effects and whatnot, my mom and I headed off the lab to get some more tests completed. Arriving there, I first got my chest x-rayed. While it may seem odd, surgeons doing more serious surgeries such as brain surgery like to make sure that you have healthy lungs before proceeding with the scalpel, in case there are some unknown complications such as asthma or any type of lung infections. Unfortunately, we won’t know the results of these for probably about a week, as you may already know doctors’ tendency to relay news back to rather slowly.

Finally, after completing all of these tests, I went to get some blood drawn. While I was supposed to also get a bleeding time test, which basically measures how long it takes for your body to form a blood clot after being cut, we ran into some obstacles. It turns out the only people who generally get this test are about to undergo open heart surgery and are on blood thinners, so they did not have the materials needed to perform the test while there. After talking with Dr. Shahinian about this he decided to get a platelet aggregation test done instead, and I will complete this either today or early next week.

Once we receive all the results from this compilation of tests, I will officially be cleared to leave for Los Angeles. When I am there I have multiple other pre-op appointments and will probably undergo more testing, but these are expected to run smoothly and provide no further hinderations. So, with all of this, I am officially counting down the final two weeks. Everyday we’re getting closer and closer to the big day, and while my nerves are rather escalated at times, surprisingly I am generally pretty calm, confident, and unafraid about surgery. This whole time I’ve been surrounded by my family, friends, and exceptional community who have given me their unfaltering support. I’ve had my faith as a sturdy backbone, and I think I can honestly say I am ready for this. They say God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. I thank Him everyday for making me this strong.Brain surgery. It’s really happening. With my pre-pre-op appointment I had this Thursday, everything is being set in motion. In just nine days, my parents and I will be departing for Los Angeles, and in thirteen days, I’ll be getting a dime-sized hole cut into my brain. Pretty gnarly, right?

While technically not fully approved for surgery yet, yesterday during my doctor’s appointment with my normal physician everything went as best as could be expected. To prepare for surgery I have to get an EKG, chest x-ray, three tubes of blood drawn, and another test that I am still waiting for approval. For all you regular folks out there who thankfully are spared from knowing all these medical terms, I’ll help fill you in.

An EKG is commonly known as an electrocardiogram or electrocardiograph, which is used to study and record the electrical activity of the heart. To perform this test, they basically put a bunch of sticky things in various places on your body, even including your ankles, then hook those stickers up to wires and monitor your heart. The way I am describing it may sound a bit complicated, but I can tell you firsthand it’s a simple test that only takes a totality of about five minutes, and also conveniently provides immediate results. Thankfully, my heart is in perfect shape so we got the go ahead from at least that standpoint.

After the nurse completed this test and we discussed more specifics of the surgery as well as possible side effects and whatnot, my mom and I headed off the lab to get some more tests completed. Arriving there, I first got my chest x-rayed. While it may seem odd, surgeons doing more serious surgeries such as brain surgery like to make sure that you have healthy lungs before proceeding with the scalpel, in case there are some unknown complications such as asthma or any type of lung infections. Unfortunately, we won’t know the results of these for probably about a week, as you may already know doctors’ tendency to relay news back to rather slowly.

Finally, after completing all of these tests, I went to get some blood drawn. While I was supposed to also get a bleeding time test, which basically measures how long it takes for your body to form a blood clot after being cut, we ran into some obstacles. It turns out the only people who generally get this test are about to undergo open heart surgery and are on blood thinners, so they did not have the materials needed to perform the test while there. After talking with Dr. Shahinian about this he decided to get a platelet aggregation test done instead, and I will complete this either today or early next week.

Once we receive all the results from this compilation of tests, I will officially be cleared to leave for Los Angeles. When I am there I have multiple other pre-op appointments and will probably undergo more testing, but these are expected to run smoothly and provide no further hinderations.So, with all of this, I am officially counting down the final two weeks. Everyday we’re getting closer and closer to the big day, and while my nerves are rather escalated at times, surprisingly I am generally pretty calm, confident, and unafraid about surgery. This whole time I’ve been surrounded by my family, friends, and exceptional community who have given me their unfaltering support. I’ve had my faith as a sturdy backbone, and I think I can honestly say I am ready for this. They say God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. I thank Him everyday for making me this strong.